Texas Culture Texas History Texas Travel

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame – Waco, Texas

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

No, we’re not talking about a baseball team, we’re talking about the historic Texas Ranger Division, the world-famous law enforcement agency that has been solving crimes in the State of Texas since 1823. Texas Rangers provided protection in the Republic of Texas from 1836 – 1845, and with a brief exception immediately following the Civil War, have done so since Texas became a state. At the present time there are approximately 144 Texas Rangers serving the Texas Department of Public Safety as the State Bureau of Investigation from their present headquarters in Austin, Texas.

Since the beginning, Texas Rangers have been dispatched to investigate murders, squelch riots, make fugitive apprehensions, and serve as paramilitary forces when necessary. Two famous Texas Ranger apprehensions in the Old West include gunfighter John Wesley Hardin and the infamous bank robbers, murderers, and car thieves, Bonnie and Clyde.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco, Texas is located near the site of the original Texas Ranger Fort Fisher, established in 1837. Here visitors will see guns, rifles, Indian artifacts and western art on display. The entire Museum compound includes the Homer Garrison, Jr. museum gallery, the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, the Texas Ranger Research Center and the Headquarters of Texas Rangers Company “F”. Students, authors and movie producers use the Research Center to portray authentic Texas Ranger and Old West garments and munitions.

Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

100 Texas Ranger Trail

Waco, TX 76706


Museum Hours: Open 9 am – Close 5 pm Monday-Sunday; last Guest Admitted at 4:30 pm; Closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years & snow and ice.

Vist the Texas Ranger’s website here


Texas Culture Texas History Texas Travel

The Story Of Texas Museum – Austin, Texas

The Story of Texas Museum

Named after a former state Lieutenant Governor, The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum opened in April of 2001. Funded by the Texas State Legislature and reviewed and approved by respected state historians, the high-tech museum offers numerous interactive exhibits, special effects and an IMAX theatre to provide a Texas experience that is larger than life.

The museum facilities have been thoughtfully and thoroughly designed to encourage use by school teachers and other groups of young people. Educators will find lesson plans and other helpful materials, as well as tour scheduling information


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Families and school groups alike can benefit by advance planning, since there is so much to see and do on all three floors of the museum. The first floor exhibits feature the landscape and native inhabitants of the area long before it was known as Texas, through the time period of the Spanish and French explorers, through the year 1900 when the entire area known as Texas was had been completely mapped out.

The second floor of The Story of Texas Museum traces the adventures of many people and nations in the process of Texas becoming an independent nation. Military battles and political accomplishments are all depicted on a 60-foot video wall with continuous showings. And the third floor points to the economic opportunities throughout the years, and pointing towards the future of the State of Texas. Naturally, the importance of cattle ranching, oil production, space exploration, medicine and technology are featured. Visitors see and hear digital presentation of real people talking about their accomplishments and encouraging us all to our own accomplishments today.

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum — The Story of Texas

1800 N. Congress Avenue

Austin, Texas

(512) 936-8746 in Austin or toll free (866) 369-7108

Plan your family or school visit here

Texas History

Texas History for Kids

Here are some great resources to help teach your kids about Texas including lesson plans, field trip ideas and more!

Interesting Sites

Texas Beyond History –  a public education service of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin. Texas Beyond History covers not only the prehistoric peoples – Indians or Native Americans – but also much of the early history of the Spanish, French, Mexican, and Anglo explorers, missionaries, soldiers, miners, traders, and settlers who lived and often died in Texas. And later history, too – German farmers, Black freedmen, and Mexican American laborers among others.

Texas State Historical Association –  mission to “foster the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of the rich and unique history of Texas and, by example and through programs and activities, encourage and promote research, preservation, and publication of historical material affecting the state of Texas.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife – Step through the doors of historic homes and inns, and imagine the lives of the people who inhabited these places. Information on state parks, outdoor events, lodging and more.

Texas Arrowheads and Indian Artifacts Online Museum – Indian Artifacts from prehistoric times to the early Clovis and Tejas Native American tribes.

Institute of Texan Cultures – Texas’ Native Americans – Information, curriculum and activities for 4th graders.

Barbed Wire Museum – Everything you want to know about barbed wire and fencing tools.

Great Texas Field Trip Ideas

The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas
The Spanish mission which has come to represent courage and the cause of liberty for all Texans.

Texas Capitol Visitor Center – Austin, Texas
The Capitol Visitors Center encourages educators to bring students for guided tours of its exhibits. Also available are lesson plans, classroom activities, vocabulary lists and research topics for all grade levels.

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum – Austin, Texas
A dynamic educational institution that tells the “Story of Texas” with three floors of interactive exhibits and IMAX. A Teacher Curriculum Guide and poster is available for “Texas – the big Picture” – a film presentation of the wonders of Texas.

The Museum of Health and Medical Science – Houston, Texas
Take a fantastic, larger than life tour of the human body. The exhibit contains huge sculptures of human organs: take a seat on a giant tooth inside an enormous mouth, walk through a 10-foot brain alive with electrical activity, peer inside a colossal eyeball, or stand beneath a 22-foot-long backbone with ribs. There are interactive audio and video kiosks, hands-on exhibits, educational programs and science classes.

Battleship Texas & San Jacinto Battleground – LaPorte, near Houston
Step back in time to the days when the Battleship TEXAS was the pride of the U.S. Navy fleet and visit the world’s last Dreadnought. The San Jacinto Monument and Museum is dedicated to the “Heroes of the Battle of San Jacinto and all others who contributed to the independence of Texas.” Located on the site of The Battle of San Jacinto where General Sam Houston defeated General Santa Anna.

Space Center Houston – Nasa Road One, Clear Lake
Space Center Houston provides an educational experience that’s out of this world. Take a look behind the scenes of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, visit the many interactive exhibits, see the Astronaut Gallery with spacesuits, touch a moon rock and more! There are educational programs for teachers and homeschool.

Texas State Aquarium – Corpus Christi, Texas
You not only travel an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Gulf but also have the opportunity to observe dive shows, feeding demonstrations, and have a “hands on” experience with sharks, stingrays, hermit crabs, and more!

Dinosaur Valley State Park – Glen Rose, Texas
Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. The park also has 15 miles of trails, picnic and camping facilities.

The Texas State Railroad – Rusk or Palestine
Passengers may board the historic steam powered trains at either Rusk or Palestine. Both ends of the line have Victorian style train stations. The trip takes 1 and a half hours to reach the opposite station. Once visitors have arrived, they have 1 and a half hours to enjoy lunch, browse through the depot’s train store or take a short nature hike. Passengers then re-board for the return trip home.

Fort Worth Museum of Science and Natural History – Fort Worth, TX
Dedicated to lifelong learning and anchored by our rich collections, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History engages our diverse community through creative, vibrant programs and exhibits interpreting science and the stories of Texas and the Southwest.

George Ranch Historical Park – Richmond, Texas
Step back in time to experience more than 100 years of Texas history. A wonderful place for a field trip, this living history ranch has educational activities for kids of all ages. See and Learn about the skills of working cowboys, the role of black cowboys, early pioneers to Texas, a working blacksmith and more!! Call ahead to schedule a time for your group or attend one of many special events.

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame – Fort Worth, Texas
The newest attraction in the Fort Worth Stockyards is the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to 58 of the top cowboys and cowgirls in Texas.

The National Cowgirl Museum – Fort Worth, Texas
The museum has five galleries of exhibitions featuring western artifacts, photographs and art work, three theaters, a children’s area, research library, gift shop and more.

The Museum Of Western Art – Kerrville Texas
The Cowboys, the Native Americans, the Settlers, the Mountain Men and others who tamed the West… share their adventure through the rotating exhibits on display at the Museum of Western Art where the legend of the American West lives on.

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center – Athens, Texas
This Center houses a hatchery, laboratory, aquarium, and educational center focusing on underwater wildlife in the state’s freshwater streams, ponds, and lakes. Features also include a wetlands trail, alligator exhibit, an opportunity to fish and picnic areas.

Vanishing Texas River Cruise – Lake Buchanan, north of Austin
Explore the awesome beauty of the Colorado River at Canyon of the Eagles – seasonal wildflowers, wildlife, waterfalls, cliffs and more!!

Nature Centers in Texas

Amarillo – Wildcat Bluff Nature Center

Austin – Austin Nature and Science Center

Bellaire – Nature Discovery Center

Brownsville – Sabal Palm Audubon Center and Sanctuary

Boerne – Cibolo Nature Center

Dallas – Dallas Nature Center

Fort Worth – Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge

Houston – Armand Bayou Nature Center

Kerrville – Riverside Nature Center

Midland – Sibley Nature Center

Orange – Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

Padre Island – South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center

Weslaco – Valley Nature Center

Wichita Falls – River Bend Nature Works

Texas History

One Ranger : A Memoir by Joaquin Jackson

One Ranger : A Memoir
One Ranger : A Memoir

The great book begins with the Texas legend of a single Ranger sent to restore the peace in a rowdy boomtown. The story goes, it only takes one Ranger to stop one riot.

“That’s one story. There are countless others that belong to the hundreds of men who are part of a proud tradition close to two centuries old. I am only one Ranger out of those who came before me and those who will ride on ahead. Only one story belongs to me.”

Joaquin Jackson shares with us his story and those of the “Desperadoes and Dumbasses” he encounters along the way. The personal accounts range from amusing burglars and horse thieves, to dramatic and tragic stories of criminals in the Big Bend Area.

Considered to be one of the best books about the Texas Rangers, One Ranger is flying off the shelves – as well it should!

Texas History

Six Flags Over Texas History

The Six Flags Over Texas is used to describe the six nations that had sovereignty over portions of the territory of the U.S. state of Texas.  The “six flags” are also shown on the reverse of the Seal of Texas.


Spanish Flag over Texas

Spain: 1519 – 1821
The first explorations into Texas were by the Spanish. The first was a map making expedition in 1519 led by Alfonso Alvarez de Pineda and Cabeza de Vaca. Soon after came explorers Francisco Vasquez de Coronoda in 1540 and Jaun de Onate in 1601.


Flag of France over TexasFrance: 1685 – 1690
French explorer Robert La Salle established Fort St. Louis on Matagorda Bay. He was hoping to start a settlement in the French Louisiana Territory at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Not realizing he was so far off, 150 people landed on the banks of the Garcitas Creek. Life was extremely hard and their numbers slowly dwindled to about 40 by 1687. La Salle left for the Great Lakes for French re-enforcements but was killed by his own men on the journey. The few remaining inhabitants of Fort St. Louis were all killed by Karankawa Indians in 1689.


Flag of Mexico over TexasMexico: 1821 – April 21, 1836 – San Jacinto Day
In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain and the region of Texas became part of Mexico. The Austin family received a grant to settle 300 US citizens in the new territory. These settlers were led by Stephen F. Austin. Many more soon followed. Santa Anna was elected governor of Mexico in 1832 and soon after sent troops into Texas to force martial law. The Texans first rebelled at Goliad in 1835. A troop of Mexican soldiers had come to get their cannon and the Texians refused – making a flag that said “Come and Take it!” The Texians then took over the city of San Antonio. On March 2, 1836 at the town of Washington on the Brazos, a group of 59 representatives voted to declare Texas independence. Just 4 days later, on March the 6th, Santa Anna led his army to the Alamo where he had all survivors executed. He marched on to Goliad and had everyone shot there as well. General Sam Houston and his army of Texians faced their final battle with Santa Anna along the banks of Buffalo Bayou. They fought and won independence for Texas at the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.


Republic of Texas Flag over TexasThe Republic of Texas: 1836 – 1845
Sam Houston was elected the first president of the Republic of Texas. The small town of Waterloo was chosen to be the capitol and it was renamed Austin – in honor of Stepehen F. Austin. The last president of the Republic of Texas was elected in 1844 – Anson Jones. He ruled just 1 year before Texas joined the United States.


Confederate Flag over TexasConfederate States: 1861 – 1865
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, The State of Texas decided to join with the Southern Confederate states. Governor Sam Houston resigned and refused to swear allegiance with the Confederates. The news of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation did not reach Texas until June 19th, 1865. The last battle of the Civil War was fought at Brownsville on May 11, 1865 – a month after the formal surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. Texas was readmitted to the Union on March 30, 1870.  Anson Jones was the last president of the Republic of Texas. In the changing of the flags ceremony he said, “The final act in this great drama is now performed, the Republic of Texas is no more.”


United States Flag over Texas

United States: 1845 – 1861 and 1870 – present

In 1845 Texas became the 28th state of the US. The US president at the time was James K. Polk. In a special ceremony J. Pinckney Henderson became the first governor of the State of Texas.